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One-man show aims for “pure” Dickens’ classic

By: Dave Baxter

Posted: 11/13/2017 9:00 AM

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The classic holiday tale A Christmas Carol will be performed in Steinbach this month, but it’s a very small cast that that will be making its way to town to put on the show.

The Manitoba Theatre Centre is bringing Rod Beattie’s "one-man" version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to the Pat Porter Active Living Centre in Steinbach on Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Beattie is a well-known Canadian actor who has become known for his ability to put on shows that portray multiple characters with just a single actor on stage, as he has also spent years performing the Wingfield series of plays in which he plays multiple characters.

Beattie said he is now excited to perform an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, as it’s a story he has known and loved for most of his life.

"My Dad used to read it to us when we were little kids, so it’s always been a part of my life," Beattie said.

He added he is also excited to perform the story in a way that is different from many theatrical versions he has seen or taken part in over the years.

"I’ve been unsatisfied with the fact many versions are just too long, and they bring in a lot of stuff you don’t really need to tell the story," Beattie said.

"It’s a pretty compact ghost story, but with multiple cast members there is often dialogue added where there isn’t any dialogue in the original book.

"Much of the best writing in the book is the narrative and not dialogue."

Beattie now hopes the audience that comes out to see the show will appreciate the stripped down version of the story.

"I want the play to do for the audience what the book did for me when I was five years old," Beattie said.

"The more I heard it, the more thrilling I found it. I feel I am giving people a stripped down but far more pure version of what Dickens wrote."

Tickets are $28 for adults and $12 for students, and available by contacting the Steinbach Arts Council at 204-346-1077 or at steinbachartscouncil.ca.

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